Pleasanton woman has hands, feet amputated after giving birth, developing infection

Pleasanton ISD school psychologist first started feeling ill days after delivering baby via c-section

SAN ANTONIO – A Pleasanton woman had to fight for her life after developing a life-threatening infection just days after delivering a healthy baby girl via cesarean section.

Krystina Pacheco is still in the hospital recovering after doctors had to amputate both her hands and feet.

Krystina and her husband Jacob Pacheco welcomed a baby girl via C-section at Stone Oak Methodist Hospital on Oct. 24 and were sent home two days later but Krystina started feeling ill on Oct. 27.

Jacob, who spoke with KSAT Friday morning, said the couple decided to go to the local hospital in Jourdanton on Oct. 28 to get Krystina checked out.

“They ended up air flighting us back to San Antonio,” Pacheco said. “They took us back to Stone Oak and then transferred Krystina to the Methodist hospital in the medical center where they put her on an ECMO machine. She was on life support and going through organ failure.”

An ECMO machine provides respiratory support for people whose heart and lungs can’t function efficiently on their own.

It turns out Krystina had developed toxic shock syndrome — a rare, life-threatening complication of certain bacterial infections.

“Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Krystina Pacheco and her husband Jacob Pacheco and their son. (Jacob Pacheco)

Jacob told KSAT that Krystina ended up getting both hands amputated an inch above the wrist and both legs amputated 3-4 inches below the knee on the Monday before Thanksgiving. He also said his wife has had multiple skin grafts.

“It’s because the blood flow to her legs and arms was so poor,” Jacob said.

He told KSAT that the source of the infection is still unclear and that officials with the hospital are looking into it.

“It could have come from a number of places so we’re still trying to figure out how it happened,” Jacob said. “Her IV port got infected in her arm. It could have come from the c-section. We just don’t know.”

Jacob said Krystina is still in the hospital and has several skin grafts she still has to get despite the multiple procedures she has already endured.

Pacheco said his wife is now free from the infection but she still has a long road ahead.

“She’s currently in the ICU and is expected to be in the hospital another 3-4 weeks, followed by inpatient rehab for 3-4 weeks,” Jacob said. “Then she’ll have outpatient rehab.”

“Her birthday is actually tomorrow and she’s just trying to stay positive because she wants to come home to our two kids. She really is doing well and getting better and doctors are blown away by her positive attitude.”

“Our hearts go out to the patient and her family. Methodist Healthcare is committed to providing each and every patient with continuous safe and quality healthcare,” Methodist Healthcare officials told KSAT.

The couple both work within Pleasanton ISD — Krystina is a school psychologist and Jacob is a junior high teacher as well as a varsity coach for soccer and football at the local high school.

“Thoughts and prayers and good vibes have been amazing and it’s how I’m staying strong for my wife,” Jacob told KSAT.

The Pleasanton community is holding a benefit for the family at 11 a.m. on Jan. 14 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, located at 626 Market Street in Pleasanton.

About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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